CERN- European Organization for Nuclear Research

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research where scientists probe the fundamental structure of the universe.

About CERN

  • CERN was established in 1954. It has 23 member states. 22 members are European countries. Israel is the only non-European nation that has full membership in CERN.
  • India is the associate member of CERN and USA has observer status at CERN.
  • CERN is located in Geneva and it is an official Observer to the United Nations (UN).

Functions of CERN

  • Its most important function is to provide the particle accelerators and other related infrastructure required for high-energy physics research.
  • CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Originally, the laboratory was solely used to study atomic nuclei. Later, it is also being used for research in higher-energy physics to study interactions between subatomic particles.

Facilities at CERN

  • Through international collaborations, many experiments have been conducted at CERN.
  • There is a large computing facility at the main site, where data from experiments is stored and analyzed. In 2016, 49 petabytes of data was generated by CERN.
  • The laboratory is also a major wide area network (WAN) hub. This is to enable researchers to remotely access the facilities present at the laboratory. In 1989, World Wide Web (WWW) was invented by a scientist at CERN.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

  • Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful energy particle collider.
  • It is one of the particle accelerators present at CERN and it is a large-scale, international scientific collaboration project. The tunnel of LHC is located 100 meters underground, between the Geneva International Airport and the Jura mountains.
  • It consists of a 27-kilometer ring of superconducting magnets along with many accelerating structures to boost the particles’ energy. The project started in 2008 when the initial particle beams were injected into the LHC.
  • In 2012, scientists at CERN announced that they discovered a new sub-atomic particle. In 2013, it was confirmed that the newly found particle is a Higgs boson “God particle”.

Suspending collaboration with Russia

Condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, CERN announced that it will not engage in new collaborations with Russia until further notice. Russia has observer status at CERN and about 8% of CERN’s staff are Russian scientists.

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